Internal Linking for SEO: The Complete Guide

Water your own garden on your website with internal linking!

Instead of watering someone else’s land, nurture your own orchids by linking to your own pages on your domain. Don’t confuse internal links with external links which branch out to different domains.

Internal Links vs. External Links

For example, if you are writing a blog post on internal linking, and you link to a Wikipedia article that explains links, that would be an EXTERNAL LINK. In your post, if you link to your same domain and product page where you sell link building services, that would be an INTERNAL LINK.

In this comprehensive guide, we explain the basics of internal links clearly. If you are not a SEO wizard, don’t stress! This post explains adding internal links concisely without too much jargon or wonky technical minutia.

Why Are Internal Links Important for SEO?

Internal linking allows you to increase page authority (what Google calls PageRank) to important pages and generally allows you to rank higher and faster in a search engine. Link building ultimately helps your website rankings because it shows the search crawlers that there is good content on your site, and that it’s logical and well-organized.

What is Google PageRank?

PageRank is the number assigned to pages by search engines like Google. PageRank represents how important and linked-to your page is on the web. To add internal links allows you to pass PageRank from your other internal pages (unless it’s blocked) and improve their authority and ranking power in a similar way that external linking (backlinks) do.

Internal Linking Helps With User Experience (UX)

Not only do internal links help with SEO, but they also work to improve user experience on your website by showing the user where relevant content is located. We all know how frustrating it can be when you click a link expecting one thing but end up somewhere totally different!

An effective way to avoid this for users is to make sure every page has several strong internal links which point back to other pages on your site related to the subject matter of your post or product at hand.

Internal Linking Best Practices

How important is an internal linking strategy? For some sites that do well with Search Engine Optimization (SEO), up to 80% of their traffic comes from links found within content and other pages on the given domain(s). So if we were using link building as an analogy for this section: It would be like trying to attract new visitors by giving out gift cards at work instead of just asking people to visit your website!

Use Keyword-Laden Anchor Text

When inserting a link in text (anchor text), it’s best to use keywords associated with your product or service.

For example, if you are linking your blog post on the importance of internal linking structure to your link building product page, you might highlight the key phrase (“internal linking structure”) for one link and mix it up with another, say using a related key phrase in the second instance (“internal linking strategy”).

Use keywords for your internal link anchor text, but don’t overdo it! Google’s Distilled research team found that using the same keyword-rich text in multiple places could actually hurt rankings , so mix up your anchor texts with synonyms or phrases that are relevant to what you’re trying to rank for.

Other Best Practices for Internal Links Pointing

Here are best practices when creating unique URLs:

  • The URL should be concise, informative, and keyword rich as mentioned.
  • The URL should make sense to search engines as well as humans.
  • Avoid broken internal links by doing a link building SEO audit once or twice a year.
  • Try not to include stop words like “this,” “that,” or “and.”

Avoid special characters (e.g., %20 for a space) in the link text unless absolutely necessary because they can cause problems with certain web applications that crawl your site.

Prioritize Internal Links High Up On Your Page

Most website owners prioritize internal links lower on the page, often at the bottom in a section called “Related Posts” or something similar. This is not recommended as Google prioritizes high-quality content higher than most other ranking factors.

Unless your post is really short with no chance of expanding it later, a “top heavy” internal link structure presents an opportunity to keep them browsing instead of clicking off immediately.

Even if you think they’re reading every word there might be one sentence which makes sense in the flow of the post but doesn’t make much sense standing alone. If you link out early for clarity, you don’t risk losing their interest!

Google will prioritize the page with high-quality content over one which is short and “skimmable”, so don’t be pushy about pushing people to another article if it’s not relevant!
This also applies in blog posts when you’re introducing a new topic. Link back to an earlier post where they can learn more instead of assuming they know what comes next.

Avoid Automated Internal Linking Tools

It’s recommended to have no more than 100 total links on a page, BOTH internal and external links. In building internal links, it’s a good idea to avoid automation which can cause anchor text spam. It may be helpful for you to know that Google does not give preference based upon the number of inbound or outbound links; however, they do take into account how many other sites are linking back (inbound) or pointing toward (outbound) your site as well as what those websites contain.

Additionally, if you include automated tools such as If This Then That (IFTTT) , there is an increased risk of including spammy directories and unwanted content . If you’re using WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO , then check your settings under Titles & Metas and look for the option to “Add noindex meta robots tag automatically if the post or page is password protected.”

Drop Link Juice on Your Garden

Don’t use water and fertilizer to make your site “garden” bloom. Analyze your site architecture, identify the important pages and irrigate them with internal links!
If you would like assistance with link building, click or tap HERE for a free consultation. We are digital marketing experts with years of experience. We install good soil and irrigate frequently to make the garden on your site vibrant, colorful and beautiful!

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